Iowa lawmakers send ethanol bill to governor’s desk

Bill requires most fuel stations to offer higher blends of ethanol

By: - April 26, 2022 1:54 pm
gas, gasoline, ethanol, gas prices

Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign legislation to require most Iowa fuel stations to carry higher ethanol blends. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Gov. Kim Reynolds applauded legislation that passed both the Iowa House and Senate on Tuesday to require most Iowa gas stations to sell higher ethanol blends.

The bill, House File 2128, received bipartisan support in both chambers, passing 42-3 in the Senate and 78-13 in the House. Reynolds is expected to sign it into law.

She told reporters Tuesday morning that the bill would “sustain and grow” the ethanol industry while helping consumers.  “As we’re seeing skyrocketing gas prices – check the price at the pump – it’s a good deal, and it’s environmentally friendly, so it checks about every box that we’re looking for,” Reynolds said.

The bill requires most Iowa gas stations to begin offering 15% ethanol blended fuel (E15) in 2026. The final version of the proposal includes a waiver for Iowa’s smallest gas stations, and state grants to help upgrade infrastructure to support E15. As fueling stations expand and install new tanks, those have to be E15-compatible.

“I think everyone in this chamber has stopped at the gas station (in) the last two or three days… and we’ve all made a choice when we put that card in the machine and we pick which button to push,” Sen. Dan Zumbach, R-Ryan, said. “And now we’ll have another choice — and a choice that will make Iowa grow.”

Some Senate Democrats raised concerns about the legislation, arguing it would be a “mandate” and may clash with federal law. House Democrats did not debate the proposal on the floor.


President Joe Biden visited Iowa earlier this month to announce the temporary summertime sale of E15. Under federal law, E15 may not normally be sold from June to September due to pollution concerns.

Reynolds said Iowa was pushing to change the federal law, especially as more gas stations will sell the higher blend.

“I’m working with a big cohort of Midwestern states,” she said. “I actually hope to send the final request to the administration this week, so we’re really close.”

Biofuels groups applauded the passage of the bill.

“Today was a victory for Iowa consumers,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “… By unlocking the power of biofuels, Iowans can save money at the pump while also powering our farm economy.”


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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.